HOUSTON -- The Royals needed any kind of a spark, and they got that from rookie Rosell Herrera on Friday night.After making a sensational catch in the eighth inning to rob Alex Bregman of a home run, Herrera smashed an RBI triple in the ninth off Ken Giles and the
HOUSTON -- The Royals needed any kind of a spark, and they got that from rookie Rosell Herrera on Friday night.
After making a sensational catch in the eighth inning to rob Alex Bregman of a home run, Herrera smashed an RBI triple in the ninth off Ken Giles and the Royals hung on for a 1-0 win at Minute Maid Park.
The victory snapped a nine-game losing streak for the Royals, who came in just 2-16 in the month of June.
Raul Mondesi led off the ninth with a single and stole second. Mondesi went to third on a flyout to right by Whit Merrifield.
Herrera, acquired off waivers from the Reds earlier this month, then ripped a 3-1 fastball deep into right-center.
"That was very fun for me, not only for me, but for my teammates because we played really good defense today all the way around," Herrera said. "We felt we competed in that game, we competed a lot today. That's why we made the right play at the right time and we won the game."
Royals left-hander Danny Duffy was on top of his game, throwing six scoreless innings. Duffy gave up just two hits, walked four and struck out seven.
"Rosie ... he's a stud," Duffy said of Herrera. "I'm a big fan of that kid. As long as he keeps playing like that, he's going to have a spot here. He had a big game. ...
"I can't harp on Rosie enough -- they gotta start buying his jerseys back in Kansas City as hard as he plays. Every pitch that guy is competing. He has a really bright future. We got a steal."
Left-hander Tim Hill recorded his first Major League save with a 1-2-3 ninth.
"It was pretty incredible. The emotions going out there was a lot. I just kept telling myself, 'Same old thing. Same old thing. Just go out there and get three outs.' It wasn't that easy, though, as far as the mental part."
Said manager Ned Yost of Hill, "He did great, 1-2-3, what more can you ask for? The situation was set up perfectly for him: Switch-hitter, two lefties and we had [Wily Peralta] ready to come in to face [George Springer] if one of the three guys got on. Timmy took care of it."
MOMENT THAT MATTERED
Duffy, who benefited from a double play to get out of a first-and-second, none-out jam in the second inning, got another huge twin killing in the sixth. Springer led off with a walk and after a strikeout, he went to second on a single by Jose Altuve. Duffy then walked Carlos Correa, to load the bases. But Duffy threw a slider on the first pitch to Yuli Gurriel, who rolled a grounder to third baseman Mike Moustakas, who stepped on the bag and fired a strike to first for an inning-ending double play.
Moustakas has been bitten by bad luck more than any other Major League hitter, according to Statcast™. Moustakas has made the most outs (31) on batted balls with a 50 percent or greater hit probability this season.
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Herrera's incredible catch in the eighth kept the game scoreless. Bregman belted a drive headed for the seats in right field and Herrera drifted back -- leaping to make the catch with his glove over the fence.
"As soon as he hit it, I looked to the wall and I looked a second time to see the ball," Herrera said. "I knew I had a chance to catch the ball, and that's when I made the play. I don't know [if it would have been a home run] because I tried to catch the ball. I didn't see the wall. I felt the wall in my back. I don't know if it was a homer or not."
HE SAID IT
"I thought Esky looked good in center. He hits good as a center fielder." -- Yost, on Alcides Escobar, who made his first career start in center field and reached base four times as well
Royals right-hander Ian Kennedy (1-7, 5.31 ERA) takes the mound for the middle game against the Astros at 6:15 p.m. CT on Saturday at Minute Maid Park. Right-hander Lance McCullers (8-3, 3.77) is scheduled to start for Houston. Kennedy gave up five runs over six innings in a 6-3 loss to the Rangers on Monday, but he is 4-1 with a 1.99 ERA in five career starts vs. the Astros.
Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.